2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Cegeka. The annual report you are about to read, comes with a new Cegeka brand identity. One that I believe reflects far better who we are, what we stand for and what makes us unique among our peers. What hasn’t changed in these 25 years, is our baseline: ‘in close cooperation’.
Ever since I started this company in 1992, I have followed the credo ‘stay close to your customers’. When people ask me to reflect on what makes us so successful, I think it boils down to that. I firmly believe that our unwavering commitment to our customers is what makes us stand out in this unpredictable, fast-paced and volatile world.
Cegeka is a curious blend of level-headed pragmatism and genuine commitment. We work towards tangible business results for our customers, but we aim to do so in a manner that is warm, respectful, considerate and courteous. At Cegeka, so-called ‘soft’ skills such as empathy and the ability to listen, are as important as ‘hard’ technical or business skills.
Empathy with customer business pains is going to be the real dealmaker in the future. IT is less about technology than it is about business. I see a growing need for what I like to call bridge builders: people who are expert at translating business needs and business pains into IT solutions that deliver, and who make sure nothing gets lost in translation.
Our unique combination of ‘cool’ and enthusiasm is decisive in helping us accomplish our mission, which is to help organizations survive and thrive in a fast-paced and disruptive business environment. We do so by unburdening C-level decision makers of IT ‘headaches’ – such as operational IT - and by helping them make the right digital moves in a highly digitized world.
The Cegeka brand comes with a number of connotations: quality, continuity, robustness and a no-nonsense approach. We are well known for taking on complex, large-scale IT projects, and for getting them done. But there’s a side to Cegeka that is far less advertised. This side revolves around our continued efforts in exploring and demystifying new and disruptive technology.
I believe that our robustness and our business ‘cool’ can make a tangible difference when applied in the field of innovation. We are not afraid of taking the road less travelled – we have been investing in and experimenting with blockchain for a few years now, for instance – but we do so with a clear end in mind: bringing business value to our customers.
Hence, our take on innovation is pragmatic. Whether it’s Internet of Things, drones or blockchain, the first question always is: “Which current or future business pains can this technology potentially solve?” Our CegekaLabs are the place where these technologies are tried and tested in terms of business viability and customer usefulness. We will never innovate just for the sake of it.
Ever since I started this company in 1992, I have followed the credo ‘stay close to your customers’. When people ask me to reflect on what makes Cegeka so successful, I think it boils down to that. I firmly believe that our unwavering commitment to our customers is what makes us stand out in this unpredictable, fast-paced and volatile world.
As I mentioned in last year’s report, Cegeka pursues a model of continuous expansion, innovation and improvement. That our strategy is working, is yet again reflected in our figures: 414 million euro in revenue in 2016, a growth of 12% compared to 2015. It is the 13th year running we are able to report growth, and I am very proud of that.
Cegeka has a track record of strong organic growth combined with successful acquisitions. We will pursue this further in 2017, with a specific focus on the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. With the acquisition of the managed services provider Danube IT Services GmbH, we also gained a strong foothold in the DACH region, where I see tremendous potential for future growth.
From our humble beginnings in 1992, Cegeka has grown to a pan-European IT partner with over 2500 customers and 4000 employees. I am extraordinarily proud of everyone who has contributed to this success: our customers, employees, stakeholders, investors and business partners. I am confident even greater things are ahead of us, if we keep working together in close cooperation.
André Knaepen was born in Tongeren in 1950. After having worked at Philips and VCST, he established Cegeka in 1992 following a management buyout of Cegeka Data Center. Today he is Chairman of the Board as well as Chief Executive Officer. André Knaepen is a wine connoisseur, who enjoys traveling with his wife Sonja, skiing and taking long walks with his faithful dog, Watson.